Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Johnathan Loyd turned in his finest performance of the season as the Ducks defeat the Cardinal 77-66 in front of a sold out Matthew Knight Arena.
For many Duck fans, it was a night of getting what they wanted. The Ducks raised their first championship banner commemorating their 1939 National Championship. Oregon beat Stanford, getting a measure of payback for the 24 point drubbing they received in Palo Alto and Johnathan Loyd put in his best day of work for the Ducks this season. On the game Loyd scored 15 points and dished out 9 assists to only one turnover. "It felt great, I needed it. My team mates have been putting faith in me and been telling me that they believe in me so I just stepped up." Johnathan Loyd said on his efforts. "Any time you get blown out by 25 there is always going to be pay back, I think that was in the back of everybody's mind. The Ducks had three other scorers in double figures, Carlos Emory with 19, Asalan Kazemi with 15 and E.J. Singler chipped in 12 more. Dwight Powell led the Cardinal with 16 points as Josh Huestis and Chasson Randle each contributed 12 in a losing effort. The Ducks pushed out to a 24 point lead before Stanford made a mostly cosmetic run down the stretch to give the final score of 77-66.
It didn't take much for the Ducks to show more energy in the first half than they did in their first meeting against Stanford but they truly did. Oregon lead every major statistical category, shooting at 50% from the field which was a drastic improvement from their paltry effort against California. The Ducks spread the scoring around but were led by Johnathan Loyd's 7. Damyean Dotson and Arsalan Kazemi also chipped in 6 to help give the Ducks a 30-26 lead at the break. Dwight Powell had 12 for the Cardinal but also was tagged with 3 fouls in the first half. The Cardinal started the game shooting the ball well, connecting on a pair of threes, but their shooting would cool to just under 35%. The major thing separating the two teams in the first half were points in the paint where the Ducks held a 14-6 advantage. Yet despite their advantage statistically, the Ducks only held a 4 point advantage at the break.
Powell picked up his fourth foul early in the second half which allowed the Duck to continue to go inside with the ball. "That was a big part of it, Powell not being in there. He got in foul trouble early and we are just a better team when we attack the basket," said Tony Woods after the game. Woods barely missed a double double scoring 9 and getting 9 rebounds. 11 of Oregon's first 12 points came from inside the key and the Ducks were off from there. Once Powell was saddled with his fourth foul, the Ducks were able to go on a 13-6 run. Even with Powell in the game, the Ducks were able to get points inside as Powell was forced to play conservatively on defense. The Ducks pushed their lead to as much as 24 before Stanford put in the reserves and scored some garbage time hops to give the final score of 77-66. Johnathan Loyd played simply his best half of basketball scoring 8 of his 15 points in the frame, an even scoring effort and would finish with 9 assists. His final on a lob play to Carlos Emory that put an exclamation point on the win.
Celebrating milestones also seemed to be a theme on the night. As the sold out crowd congratulated the 1939 National Champions, coach Dana Altman was congratulated on his 600th win as coach. On the accomplishment, coach Altman was almost dismissive of his achievement, "Well, you do anything long enough, those things come. I've had a lot of good players. I guess that's what it makes you think about...all the players you were fortunate enough to coach. Not that big of a deal, getting old." The Ducks' next task is against Oregon State in their final home tilt of the season. "It's still a rivalry game. It's the Civil War so we have to come with it. There is going to be a lot of energy in this place. We just have to play hard and play our game." Said Loyd on their match up.